Drunk driving arrests decrease across Northern Ireland during Christmas

A 14-year-old was caught driving while drunk in Northern Ireland around Christmas, the PSNI has revealed.

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In a press release, the PSNI (Police Service of Northern Ireland) said that the teenager was amongst 322 arrests of drivers found to be under the influence in Northern Ireland at the Christmas period.

That figure represents roughly a 10% drop compared to the same period in 2017.

The PSNI’s anti-drunk driving operation was supported by the independent charity Crimestoppers.

Assistant Chief Constable Alan Todd said, “When we launched this operation at the end of November, we warned drivers not to take the risk because just one drink can impair decision making. Just one drink can cause a collision. Just one drink could kill.”

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ACC Todd said that the 14-year-old was the youngest offender caught during the November 30 through January 1 period, with the eldest being 83 years old.

“At 14 years of age, the youngest person detected shouldn’t have been on the road - let alone failing a breath test," ACC Todd said.

"This individual is being dealt with for a number of motoring offenses, including Taking and Driving Away.”

ACC Todd added: “We shouldn’t be detecting people driving with any alcohol in their system. It’s disapp/ointing that despite our repeated and well-publicized warnings, a minority of people completely disregarded the safety of themselves and others by taking the shameful and incredibly dangerous risk of driving after drinking.”

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Looking ahead, ACC Todd said: “Police will continue to use all the powers and legislation at our disposal, including the authorized checkpoints, to detect people who insist on driving after having taken drugs or alcohol.”

“All motorists need to consider the consequences of their actions. Never take the risk of having even one drink if you are driving. The consequences can be catastrophic."